Mameluk Style Officer Sword Napoleonic Period




This sword might be french, the Oak symbol on the hilt being used scarcely on British sword.

Mameluk or Mamluk swords were used in England until the end of Victoria's reign when in France, they became out of fashion quickly after Waterloo.

 In the post-Napoleonic period French military fashion was widely adopted in Britain.

Wellington carried an oriental sword from his days serving in India also the Mamelouk style sword became very fashionable.
Later was created the 1831 General Officers sword pattern still carried today on parade.

This type of sword comes from the kilij, literally "a sword" in turkish, originaly aone-handed, single edged and curved saber used by the Turks.




This type of sword comes from the kilij, literally "a sword" in turkish, originally one-handed, single edged and curved saber used by the Turks.

The blade is quite curved, 77 cm long, 9 cm curvature, it is not an oriental blade with Damas forging but a regular steel continental type.

The scabbard is in wood recovered with black leather, two "bossettes" mounts and suspension rings in steel.

Roustam Raza bodyguard of the Napoleon




The brass hilt has a simple cross section with two olives at the end of the branches...it features an oak design on the back grip and a hole for the sword-knot....might be a replacement.




It is very similar to the troop model designed by Boutet with "bossettes" on the scabbard as we can see on the sword from Moise Zumero, the latest Mameluk from the Imperial Guard who died in 1873.



Moise Zumero Mameluk sword from Imperial Guard

Napoleon formed his own Mamluk corps in the early years of the nineteenth century coming back from Egypt.

One of his personal servants. Napoleon's famous bodyguard, Roustan, was a Mamluk from Egypt.
Originally he was from Georgia from Armenian parents ...at thirteen he was kidnapped and sold in Slavery in Cairo.

Mamluk were wearing also a mace and hatchet....designed by Nicolas Boutet at Versailles.



Stunning uniform Mamluk by Charles Vernet


1831 english Pattern sword at Trooping the Colour




Général Lasalle and his mamluk style sword
by Jean Gros

Typical french oak design along the grip

The Oak is a symbol of endurance, durability, purity and constancy.

It is said the oak Celtic name "dervo" or "duir" gave birth to the word Druid, the Celtic member of the priestly class.


Bonaparte and Wellington with a Mamluk style sword




Mameluk bloody charge during the second of May 1808 in Alcala street in Madrid by Goya



Hole in the hilt for the sword knot...usually with a golden tassel



Throughout the Napoleonic era, there was a special
Roustam Raza...
Napoleon Mamluk own bodyguard
Mamluk corps in the French army.

During the Egypt campaign, Napoleon bought about two thousands Mamluks from Syrian merchants from whom he intended to form a special detachment.

 On September 14, 1799, General Kleber established a mounted company of Mamluk auxiliaries and Syrian janissaries from Turks captured at the siege of Acre.

 In 1801, General Rapp was sent to Marseille to organize a squadron of 250 Mamluks under his command.

On January 7, 1802, the previous order was cancelled and the squadron reduced to 150 men.

 In 1803, the Mamluks were organized into a company attached to the Chasseurs a Cheval of the Imperial Guard.

Mamluks fought well at Battle of Austerlitz on December 2, 1805...and the regiment was granted a standard and eagle.

With the First Restoration, the company of the Mamluks of the Imperial Guard was incorporated into the Corps Royal des Chasseurs de France....a lot of them will be assassinated during the "white terror" in the south of France by the ultra royalists in power.

The Mameluks of the Young Guard were incorporated in the 7th Chasseurs a Cheval.

That was the end of the Mameluks in France.


Officer of the 5Th Hussard carrying a Mameluk style sword



3rd Marquess of  Londonderry with a Kilij in 1812, very fashionable in England too